Comics / Comic Reviews / Marvel Comics

Spider-Man: Reign #3


By Jason Mott
March 7, 2007 - 13:50

Reign3Cover_small.JPG
Welcome to another dark, despondent future where the hero has gone away and the forces of evil are slowly draining the light and life from the world. So how is Spider-Man: Reign any different from every other such story? Because this is Spiderman’s story, and Kaare Andrews makes that clear in every way. With issue #3 of Reign, the story picks up after the aged Spider-Man’s hard defeat at the hands of four old enemies. Rescued by the dead Dr. Octopus’s now-automated tentacles (try saying that three times fast), Peter Parker comes face to face with his guilt over the death of Mary Jane and every other beloved figure in his life. Meanwhile, the sinister mastermind behind The Reign’s totalitarian regime is revealed as an older, more intelligent, evolved, and hungry Venom. So now it’s up to Spidey to reassemble some semblance of sanity and rescue New York.

Kaare Andrews has done a great job here of portraying a mentally scarred and emotionally damaged Peter Parker throughout Reign and manages to push it even further with this issue. The guilt and ultimate sense of helplessness that has always been a defining characteristic of Spider-Man comes through strongly and richly in this series. However, if Andrews has any serious weakness with Reign, it’s got to be from a major compression of story. To put it bluntly, Kaare Andrews may have simply written himself a story too rich for its own good. So many things in this series are able to intrigue and beg development, but they hardly ever get to stretch their legs. Rather than having each issue be a 36-page affair, Andrews could have benefited from being allowed a 48-page format that would have let him really do what he’s obviously dying to do: explore the rich, complex future he’s created.

With the artwork, Andrews does a great job with color, imagery, and layout. He pushes the image of the haunting presence of Mary Jane’s memory and is smart enough to take his time in the panel progressions. Each panel is necessary and artistic at the same time which makes the book, as a whole, a fulfilling, satisfying piece of eye candy. The most striking image in the book comes when Dr. Octopus’s self-sufficient tentacles carry his haggard, rotted corpse across the graveyard where Mary Jane is buried. Combined with the writing, the scene is both terrifying and beautiful at the same time. Most of Andrews’ artwork can best be described as a fluid mix of the grisly and the gorgeous. And it is that same fluidity that fits so perfectly with the nimble, glib wallcrawler. As a final note, Andrews gets extra credit on the cover art for this issue of Reign. Andrews’ theme on the relationship between Dr. Octopus and Spider-Man comes through loud and clear in the beautiful, chilling cover.

Overall: 8/10. Great resume work for Andrews.

Rating: 8 /10


Last Updated: June 23, 2021 - 00:45

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